Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hawaii Day 7-Our last day :-(

For our last full day on the island we (enjoyed our Christmas present from mom and Karl and) went on a cruise aboard the Fairwind II at Keauhou Bay to Kealakekua Bay.
We started out early and they served us breakfast on the boat as we cruised out to the Bay.
We started chatting up the 2 older couples sitting beside us to find out one of the couples was from BEND!! Crazy!!
Captain Cook monument at Kealkekua Bay
We snorkeled for an hour or so, came back on the boat for our BBQ then went back out to snorkel for another hour.
Somehow a burger cooked on a boat out on the ocean after a snorkel dive can not be described. It just tastes better because well.... you're BBQing on a boat in the ocean!!

The coral reef here was AMAZING. Awesome clear water, and beautiful fish.
Yes, I know he's snorkeling, not scuba diving ;-)

I had to try this slide off the boat

As we were leaving the bay we got to see this pod of spinner dolphins. It's too bad the couple times they actually jumped and spun out of the water were off camera.
Really neat to see this too!

Rugged coast line

It was a great trip and I would recommend the trip to anyone... very family friendly too.

Merry Christmas to us!

We had a couple hours to kill before our Manta Ray snorkel so we walked along some beaches and the shoreline in Kona and enjoyed a yummy shaved ice!!

Harbor before our Manta Ray snorkel

On our way out to see the Mantas with "Sunlight on Water" tour group
Our group headed out

While the video below is not of our group it is very much the same as what we saw. It was a very surreal experience. At first it is a little frightening as these large creatures come swimming belly to belly with you. Then you realize they aren't something to fear, but it is so strange that they are not afraid of you.
Divers shine their bright lights up from the bottom and the snorkelers float on top and shine lights down from the surface and attract the plankton the Manta rays love to eat. The manta rays have learned that people coming and attracting plankton has made for a good evening feeding site and typically show up every night.
The night we went there were 12 different manta rays!!
These rays are about 14 feet across and move gracefully through the water. While there were many groups out there that evening, I felt like every Manta Ray came to our group. For a full 30 min our group had ray after ray feeding below us. The time seemed to pass quickly.
Truly an unforgettable experience!!

Sadly our Hawaiian trip had to come to an end. Brad really wanted to take this fruit home for the kids to try, and although I warned him he wasn't supposed to take fruit back, he decided to try and stash it away. But, guess who got caught at the airport trying to smuggle fruit!!!
They let us have it back, but we had to eat it before we left Hawaii, so here is Brad savoring his fruit at the airport.
We had SUCH wonderful time! I've been trying to figure out a way to get back ever since we've been home!! Hopefully soon! We'd love to take the kids too.
I can't wait.
While cruising around the island we always listened to the "feel good island" radio station and found some fun songs we like, so I've been streaming the audio every few nights, just to reminisce.
Here are a couple of our favorites
Who wants to sponsor our next trip??

Hawaii- Day 6

Double click to see flowers better Thursday Brad went to the first 2 hours of class, then decided to play hooky so we could go see the other side of the island.
This was one of my favorite stops on our trip: Laupahoehoe Point. The surf here was AMAZING! You hear the roar and feel the ocean's power and force. The water hits the rocks so violently it is mesmerizing.

We went back to our rockin' minivan we had rented to find it covered in a salty brine which impeded our view out the windows until we could stop at a gas station to clean them!

This sign was at the park next to the coast.
Ever seen one of these warning signs before?
We continued down the coast and saw a lot of waterfalls and beautiful flowers of which I shall only bore you with a few :-)
This is at Kelekole Park This tree wins the weird award (on our way to 'Akaka Falls)
The vegetation is sooo dense!

Here it is.... 'Akaka Falls
420 foot drop!

Here is Rainbow Falls
(sans rainbow)
Brad loved the Banyan trees... or at least he loved saying "Ban-yan" all the time.
They are HUGE!
(That is Brad in the white shirt) Above Raibow falls Brad and I scrambled along these rocks

Then we went on to Hilo to say "hi" to King Kemehameha
On our way home we stopped back in Wimea for supper and tried an Italian place called Solimene's... it was OK. This chocolate hazelnut calzone was pretty good though.
I LOVED being able to see all the beautiful green jungles and flowers on the other side of the island. It was such an amazing contrast from the dry lava side we were staying on.

Hawaii- Day 5

Wednesday morning I decided that perhaps I should do something a little more productive than sitting on the beach all morning again and headed 5 min. north of our hotel to Puukohala Heiau national park.
This temple was started in 1790 by Kamehameha I, after the death of Captain Cook at Kealakekua Bay.

It was built entirely by hand with no mortar, in less than a year. The red stones were transported by a human chain about 14 miles long, from Pololū Valley to the East, involving thousands of people.

When the heiau was completed, it measured 100 by 224 feet (30 x 70 meters). Kapukahi's prophecy required that a high chief be sacrificed there, so Kamehameha invited his cousin Chief Keoua to the dedication. When Keoua arrived there was a fight, and Keoua and most of his men were killed. The body of Keoua was carried to the heiau and offered as sacrifice to the war god Kukailimoku.

Here is a picture of the bay just below the temple. It is an amazing contrast to the barren land the temple is built on. Many Hawaiian royalty lived here on this bay.

It was a very interesting stop. I'm glad I went.

But there was still the matter of the BANANA CREAM PIE

I drove back up to Wimea and after checking out a few shops in town, got us some of that pie!!

It was totally worth it! Delicious!!

I was a bit late getting back to the hotel and Brad was waiting anxiously waiting for me to go do some more snorkeling. Again we just went down to the hotel beach and snorkeled off the other end of the beach and spent a good hour snorkeling until we had to head back to the hotel to get ready for our Luau!

We saw close to everything on this poster!

We decided to go to the Lu'au at Kona Village.I LOVED it. Here is a little sampling from our Lu'au:

The opening entertainment. Listen to all the birds in the background :-)

My kids LOVE this picture of this very animated bassist
Our dinner is "unearthed"

I tried the poi and the taro root and the taro leaf.
Hmm... not my favorite

Turn the other cheekLots of fun

Another beautiful Hawaii'an evening!
I kept taking my coat everywhere... just in case... NEVER needed it!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hawaii 2010- Day 4

Day 4 began with more of THIS When Brad finished his course at 1pm we decided to check out the north end of the island.

While the area near our hotel was all lava rock, it soon changed into these rolling ranch lands as we headed north just 10 minutes.
We pulled off the side of the road to check out this cave
It was a pretty big lava tube with some cool rooms. Too bad our crappy flashlight from the hotel didn't allow us to see much, but it was fun to check out.

We also saw these turkey's wandering around on the road to Wimea
We stopped in Honoka'a to check out a few shops and bought some more macadamia nuts.

I loved this beautiful Waipi'o Valley.
This is where King Kamehamaha was hidden as a small child.

We decided to hike down to the black sand beach you see below along a steep road that can only be driven with a 4 wheel drive.

In the valley this horse was wandering around.
Apparently this valley is full of hippies and people who want to "get away from it all" as there is no power, phone, or cell service in this area. We met a resident of the area while we were walking back from the beach... and he didn't even have a watch and had to ask us the time!

My first time in a "jungle"
Awesome black sand beach!

More handsome hubby

Because we got a late start, and were losing day light we only stayed at the beach for about 20min. before we had to make our way back up "the hill"
"The road gains 800 vertical feet (243.84 m) in 0.6 miles (0.9 km) at a 25% average grade, with steeper grades in sections. This is a paved public road but it is open only to 4 wheel drive vehicles. If classified as a road, it would be the steepest road of its length in the United States and possibly the world."

Keep this in mind as you hear Brad breathing in the video.
(I, of course ROCKED the hill :D)

I was SOO parched! Water never tasted so good as when we stopped in Wimea on the way home at Huli Sue's for supper

We had some AWESOME pork @ Huli Sue's !! I loved it! I would go back there in a heart beat.

Check out Brad's onion rings!!
We had read in "the Bible" about their fabulous banana cream pie, and told the waiter when we came in that we for sure wanted some of that after our big hike out of the valley.

When it came time for dessert we found out they had given the last 2 pieces to another table :(

Great restaurant and lots of pretty sites this day.